8 Tips on How to Speak Confidently during Business Meetings

If you’re the type who feels anxious about speaking up in a meeting, know that you’re not alone. Some people tend to be stiff like statues when they realize that all eyes and ears are on them. They know they have great ideas, but they just can’t seem to get those first words out. This adds to their worries about not being able to contribute to the group.

There are several reasons why people hesitate to speak up, such as joining a new company or team, a lack of preparation, or thinking their idea is of less value.

These skills require polishing and practice over time. We had over 5,000 students who were regularly in contact with and under the guidance of our leaders and mentors at the Next Level Academy. This allowed them to hone their speaking skills, whether it was in a small or large group.

Let us share with you 8 tips on how you can speak confidently during each of your business meetings. This way, you can breeze through them every time and add value to your success plan.

  1. Always prepare

Hours or days before the meeting, make sure you’re aware of the topic and agenda of the meeting. This will help you feel less worried simply because you’re not in the shadow of what’s to be discussed.

If possible, know the other people in the room or conference call. You can talk to the organizer to find out how you can contribute and who the other attendees are.

As an example, whenever organizers invite the speakers at the Next Level Academy to their events, we always find out who is attending, what their background is, and what their demographic is.

This is so that Next Level Academy speakers understand what the needs and wants of the audience are and can tweak the content to suit those needs.

As a result, event organizers such as Success Resources, the largest event and seminar organizer, repeatedly collaborate with Next Level Academy and our speakers because they have seen how much thought we have put into our content.

Change your mindset about how you view yourself and the meeting. Consider yourself valuable because you’re part of it.

  1. Speak early

Have your questions ready and speak during the first 5–10 minutes of the meeting to avoid building up unnecessary tension. Sometimes, when you delay speaking up, it can just make you more anxious than necessary.

  1. Don’t censor yourself

Curiosity is essential in this evolving economy. So rather than being critical of yourself, accept the fact that you want to know more about others' ideas and address them by asking questions.

  1. Commit to speaking

When you find the courage to speak up, don’t hesitate to do so. Having second thoughts can just make you flustered, so decide fast if you want to speak up and commit to it.

  1. Support someone’s idea

One of the easiest ways to find something to say is to build on someone’s idea. You can start by saying, “X’s idea on—is good because—.” If you have information about it before the meeting, you can talk to the person before the session so you can even have a better understanding of their idea or suggestion.

  1. Stay present

Keep any distractions away from you during meetings. This is key to your success plan for being comfortable in group interactions. Maintain concentration by remaining in a quiet room with comfortable seating and a comfortable temperature.

  1. Record yourself

You might find this awkward, but this is a great way for you to evaluate yourself and see how you did in that meeting. You could even surprise yourself when you hear that speaking up wasn’t so bad after all.

  1. Practice out aloud 

If you’re determined to hone your speaking skills and work towards building a good impression, practicing out loud is crucial to following through with your success plan. You can write down your idea or what you want to share at a certain meeting and read it aloud. You can either record it on your phone or get someone to listen to you speak.

Once you’ve mastered the art of speaking confidently during meetings, you’re bound to make a good impression on your team members, colleagues, and leaders. Always remember that you’re in that meeting as a valued contributor. We must constantly collaborate with others if we want to succeed in this evolving economy.

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